Get the most from the city that never sleeps
Paul Hopkins picks up the hectic pace and reveals his top Irish New York City attractions
Here’s the thing: life in New York, in particular Manhattan, is fastpaced and as busy as the proverbial bee, and walking quickly isn’t just about getting from one place to the next as fast as possible; it’s a point of pride. If you’re not keeping up with the breakneck pace, then native New Yorkers will ask you to kindly step aside and let them pass.
You’ve got three days, maybe five, perhaps even a week to discover — or rediscover as in my case — the city that never sleeps, and it can be hectic at that breakneck pace. Having hit the Big Apple, for the novice and the initiated there is so much to do and see and experience.
Here are — your ‘one a day’, if you go for a week — seven top Irish places of interest in NYC.
American Irish Historical Society, 991 Fifth Ave., between 80th and 81st streets: This institution houses many of the great historical records of the Irish. A veritable treasure trove for someone who cherishes history.
Glucksman Ireland House, 1 Washington Mews, at Fifth Avenue: A great place, on a nightly basis, to experience the best of Irish culture. Political speakers, playwrights and people who are well known speak here, such as writer Pete Hamill, former Irish President Mary McAleese and actors Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne.
Irish Arts Center, 553 51st St., between 10th and 11th avenues: Experience the best of Irish theatre and cultural activities. A wonderful place to bring children, and to understand the culture that shapes the Irish in America.
O’Neill’s Irish Bar, 729 Third Ave., between 45th and 46th streets: Wonderful old-fashioned Irish pub that serves bangers and mash. On the wall, brought over from Ireland, you have advertisements of Irish train schedules from 100 years ago and of old taverns, and old Guinness ads that are 60, 70 years old. Like stepping back into the past.
Irish Repertory Theatre, 132 W. 22nd St., between Sixth and Seventh avenues: Performances of the latest productions from Ireland, and great Irish-American dramas.
Fitzpatrick Manhattan, 687 Lexington Ave., between 56th and 57th streets: A landmark hotel and a home away from a home for many Irish who come to NYC. You can pick up the Irish papers and have your Irish breakfast, too, with real Irish bacon and sausage, black pudding and Irish soda bread.
McSorley’s Old Ale House, 15 East 7th Street: Established in 1854 as a saloon for Irish workers, this bar still stands today and is as much a living museum as a place to relax and enjoy a beverage.
The best way to arrive in New York is to forget about flying into JFK. Fly into New Jersey instead! From Newark Liberty Airport to Manhattan, by taxi, bus or train, clocks in at around 27 minutes.
Car hire apart, there are several relatively inexpensive ways to get from Newark to Manhattan. The Air Train, $11.55 one-way, will bring you from Newark Airport to Penn Station.
Taxi fares (plus tolls) to any Manhattan location are approximately $50-75. Several companies offer shuttles to Manhattan including Go Airlink NYC starting at $12/person; the Newark Liberty Airport Express, $16 one way; and Super Shuttle $15-$19.
CROWD PLEASER: Tourists and New Yorkers alike throng Times Square in Manhattan and (below right) Paul enjoys the views of Manhattan